Sun. Jun 4th, 2023

Gay activists at the Tet Parade

Update on 2/10/13: None of the Santa Ana City Council Members showed up to the Tet Parade nor did I see any of the gay activists.

The controversy that has brewed all week will continue at the Tet Parade scheduled for this Sunday, February 10, at 9 am, at the intersection of Bolsa and Magnolia.

They gay activists who were told by the parade organizers that they could not participate in the parade sued the organizers but a Judge found against them this week.

In the wake of that court decision a number of local elected officials have declared that they will be boycotting the parade.  This is by the way a parade that almost didn’t happen, as the City of Westminster is broke and couldn’t pay for it. Volunteers worked very hard to raise the money to hold the traditional Lunar New Year parade, in Little Saigon.

The politicians in question, for the most part, did nothing to help raise money for this parade, as I understand it.  Nor did the gay activists.

Jeff LeTourneau and gay activists at the Tet Parade

The gay activists used to participate in the Tet Parade when it was a public event.  I remember seeing them there a couple years ago.  Many of them were holding signs regarding gay marriage.

One gay couple apparently kissed at the parade last year and as I understand it the parade organizers could not get any assurances from the gay activists that they would behave this year.

Gay marriage signs at the Tet Parade

Personally I do not believe that community parades are appropriate venues for people making out or for those who want to advocate for controversial political positions.  I support gay marriage but that is not what the Tet Parade is about.

Santa Ana Council Members Sal Tinajero, David Benavides and Michele Martinez supposedly will be walking in the parade along with the gay activists in question, according to the Orange Juice blog.  Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido will be at the parade but as far as I know he is not planning to accompany the other Council Members, who turned against him last year when Benavides ran unsuccessfully against him.

Lesbian activist at the Tet Parade

Gay activist and blogger Chris Prevatt, who came in last place, with just over 6% of the vote, when he ran for the Garden Grove City Council in 2002, has called for politicians to boycott the parade.  Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez , Congressman Alan Lowenthal, and State Senator Lou Correa have all reportedly pulled out of the parade.  Garden Grove School Board member Bao Nguyen pulled out too.  Newly elected Westminster Council Member Diana Carey is going to walk in the parade apparently dressed in a traditional Vietnamese dress, but with a black armband to show that she is mad about the gay activists being excluded.  Call it mad pandering I guess.

Natalie Newton, a Vietnamese American lesbian and one of the main organizers of the Partnership of Viet LGBT Orgs, is asking politicians not to boycott but rather to show up to the parade and walk with gay activists.

I agree with Newton – no one should boycott this event, that so many people worked so hard to organize and present to the community.  None of the parade organizers is opposing the inclusion of gay activists as participants with others in the parade.

More gay activists at the Tet Parade

It was not right for the gay activists to try to hijack an event for their own purposes and I believe this will backfire on them and on the politicians who pulled out of this event.

The Vietnamese American voters in Orange County actually do vote, a lot.  Their vote matters and believe me their community is taking note of what is going on.  In two years Tinajero, Benavides and Martinez are all up for reelection.  And it is likely that someone in their cabal will be running against Mayor Pulido.  Well Pulido did very well with the Vietnamese voters last November and I suspect he will pick up even more votes now.  The rest of these politicians, particularly those who choose to boycott the event, are cutting their noses off to spite their faces.  Good luck with that.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

9 thoughts on “Santa Ana Council members to march with gay activists at the Tet Parade”
  1. Sal, Michele and David don’t care a thing about the Viet community. This is a vote grabbing stunt. This same silliness of politicians and parades have been going on for two hundred years.

  2. Really. NO SHOWS???

    After the blovating comments at the last council meeting imploring EVERYONE to attend???

    Even Robert Oliver (I mean Angie) spoke up.

    Michele was amused that someone of asian descent “spoke spanish too”.

    They implored the people to go and then ditched out because it was politically inconvienent.

  3. So does Michele, David, Roman and Sal’s collusion in BOYCOTTING the event represent a meeting or conference, therefor violating the so often touted “Brown Act”.

    Personally, I don’t think so, but the literalists at the LOC and OJB, can’t have it both ways.

    I think that the cowardice and vain nature of the council speaks volumes about their motives: VOTES.

  4. Would anyone like to help the writer with some of the facts, as she/he clearly made up their own version of what happened today. In fact, this writer’s description is so blatantly distorted, it can only be described as propaganda. The only thing accurate about the writer’s description of our presence was to use the word angry to describe us, as in “There was no hint of this week’s angry reaction by gay activists whose organizations were not allowed to march in the parade.”

    I guess the writer can say she/he is not lying; there were no angry gay activists present. What the writer failed to mention was that there were at least 500 hundred Vietnamese LGBT folks and allies, who responded to their exclusion from the parade with a colorful and graceful demonstration that reflected the Vietnamese values of respect and unity. The contingency included families with children and many older Vietnamese too. The Viet LGBT contingency and allies, waving American, Vietnamese AND RAINBOW flags and signs that said things like “We Support Every One, Love, Respect, and Unity” in both English and Vietnamese, lined half a block on the sidewalk and up the embankment behind it.

    In addition, as the LA Times reported “The Rancho Alamitos Vaqueros marching band, from Garden Grove, performed a special number for the LGBT groups. Children waved South Vietnamese flags, clapping along.” (I saw it with my own two eyes.) As far as politicians the writer overlooked, Assemblyman Tom Daly got out of his car, shook hands with folks from the LGBT group, and waved a rainbow flag. Westminster Councilwoman Diana Carey carried a rainbow flag in solidarity as well. And finally, one of the boldest demonstrations of support came from State Assembly, Rancho Community College District Trustee Jose Solorio, who got out of his car, took a rainbow flag from a demonstrator, and used the flag to wave his car on without him, as he joined the Viet LGBT contingency and allies. The fact is that the glorious presence of the LGBT contingency could not be overlooked. The statement they made so beautifully and with so much wonderful color, is that they will not be excluded from their own community, even if excluded from a parade. Their exclusion by the hateful organizers resulted in placing them at the heart of the parade, and they rose to the occasion with dignity and strength. I do completely agree with the writer, however, that “This was most definitely a family event and the politicians who were there got some great exposure to a community that votes in every election.” Yep. We are making a list too. And we will remember who stood on the side of justice, even if the writer and photographer did not see us.

  5. Hey Admin,

    While our council was debating how many votes would be won/lost by attending the TET parade. A real leader: Irvine’s Mayor Steve Choi graced thefront page of the OC Register:

    What do Irvine voters know that Santa Ana doesn’t???

    Instead of trying to bankrupt a city Choi is leading the city of Irvine forward.

    That’s refreshing.


    That city needs it!

  6. Dear Editor,

    Clearly you stayed in one area and take your pictures with your back turned to the area where the group gathered. Such a myopic focus does not make for very accurate reporting].

    Sorry you missed all over the lovely colors and beautifully worded signs!

    Look in the OC Register, LA Times, NBC, ABC news, and many others OC blogs if you want to see what you missed.


    1. I have covered a ton of parades and the fact is that it is rarely worth my while to go to the very front of it, where you and your people were apparently camped out.

      I’ll tell you what – I didn’t miss a damn thing and from what I could tell no one else there did either.

      The Tet parade and the Lunar New Year have NOTHING to do with gay issues, period. Your histrionics are going to hurt your movement, not help it.

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